The New Plan – Operation Freelance!

After talking it over with a very smart friend I’ve decided to offer blog articles for £100 each, and £50 each for short ones.

I’m offering Ghostwriting and Co-Author services too. If you have a great story idea but don’t think that you could do it justice, then I can help. You may even have started writing it yourself and got stuck. You can hire me as a Ghostwriter, in which case the book has your name on it, and you get to keep the royalties, but you pay me for my time upfront. Or, you can let me take a Co-Author credit, both names are on the cover, we split the royalties 50-50, and it costs you nothing.

hypnotoad

I’m hoping to build up a client list as quickly as possible. I need to be a full-time writer. I’m going nuts. I’ve been trying to build my profile, and my reputation. Take my time. Do this right. Work wherever I can to survive while I make myself look great online. The problem is that the job I’m doing for money is taking all my time, energy and motivation.

I didn’t realize when I started working nights how lonely and depressing it would get. I needed some time to think, but now I’m ready to rejoin the world. I could just get another shitty job doing bar-work, retail or call centre customer service, but I really don’t want to have to. I want to write. It’s all I want to do, and I’m good at it.

I got my start as a blogger writing geek-culture articles for a WordPress-based website. The articles I’ve written for them seem to have gone, but I saved a few of my favourites and re-blogged them on Games ‘n’ Geekery. A geeky website of my own I created using all the skills I learned while working for them, and a few tricks I’ve picked up since.

They didn’t pay me anything, but the experience was invaluable. I learned how to use WordPress, how to make a good-looking blog article, and that I could churn out an original 500-1000 word article, including research, links, pictures and video, every single day.

ubi-ad-300-square

I used what they taught me to create this blog, and others. The Hermes925 serialized story that I’ve been posting to this website attracted the attention of Tod Foley, who recruited me for the UbiquiCity project. The writer team would video conference online to talk about our ideas and world-build together, then we each wrote a short story that fit into the world we created. My short story, and the others, are now available on Amazon as part of the UbiquiCity anthology. The accompanying RPG sourcebook will be out soon. It was a fun project. 🙂

I got the opportunity to ghost-write a story for someone, and that was fun too, but the client put the project on hold before I saw a penny for the work I did. I definitely learned a lesson there, but it put me off the idea of ghost-writing for a while.

I submitted a short story or two to contests and publications that offered a cash prize or payment if you were accepted, but it didn’t take me long to figure out that writing short stories for submission, especially if they don’t get accepted. Too much time and effort, for not enough guaranteed reward. If I write a good short story, I want some guarantee I’m going to get paid for it, and I certainly didn’t want to have to pay someone to publish it.

It’s about that time I got distracted by the Creative Writers group. It had only 32 members left, no admin at all. It occurred to me that I could test some of the things I’d learned about social media management and audience building, and also create the kind of supportive community I wanted to find. The group now has over seventeen thousand members.

FB_IMG_1492162261458

I even created an opportunity for group members. I’ve always been a ‘learn by doing’ kind of person. I learn best when it’s a necessary means to accomplish a desired outcome. In hindsight the Monolith project was probably a little too ambitious, but that was kind of the idea. Set the bar high and see if I could pull it off. I didn’t, but I learned a lot along the way.

The idea was to create a series of large anthologies, containing well-written stories, all conforming to the same theme. There would be no charge to submit and we would review the stories as they were submitted. That way we wouldn’t have to try and deal with a huge pile all at once after the submission deadline, and the writers would get feedback right away instead of having to wait. This also gave them an opportunity to try and improve their submission and try again.

We ended up with a lot of great stories, and a lot that could have been good if the writers had been willing to improve them. The project became a logistical nightmare, even with help from other admins in the group, and so the project was abandoned. However, I decided to test self-publishing anyway with one of the short-stories I had written. It sold pretty well for a short story, and I’m currently writing a longer story, hopefully a novel, inspired by the short story. It’s called The Haunted Story.

Dead Letter cover

It’s taking longer to write than I wanted though. I enjoy writing stories, but they’re harder than blog articles. I have several work-in-progress story-lines that I will to turn into books. A few of the ideas have already been mentioned in this blog. I know I can manage my time better, and be able to spend more time and energy writing my stories, if I can write full-time. The night porter job is an inefficient use of my time and wastes my creativity.

I could replace the hotel job by securing enough clients to write an article a day, just like I used to do. I’m a good writer, as you can see from this blog and my published stories. I’m more than happy to negotiate, especially if I can gain something else besides money, like cover-art, editing, or marketing.

I can do blogging, and it comes easily to me, but I’d prefer to write a book with you. I know from the previous experience that I write better and faster when I’m working for someone, and it gives me something to look forward to each day. Unlike my current job. At this point I’d welcome any opportunity to write for a living really.

So, want to write a book with me? If you don’t have any ideas, I can help with that too. I’m aware that some people just want to see a book on the shelves with their name on the cover. I can arrange that. I can also go to the opposite extreme and help you polish up and revise a story that you’ve mostly written already (and that wouldn’t cost as much). It’d be much more fun to bounce ideas off each other and come up with a great story together, but I’m flexible.

Please email me: antonym.copeland@gmail.com or leave me a comment if you have any questions, advice for new freelancers, or a project for me. Whether you’re a fellow writer with too much on your plate, a website manager that needs more content, or just someone that wants their name on a book, I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a great day 🙂

 

Advertisements

The Haunted Story Continues!

 The Haunted Story: Dead Letter is my first work of fiction on Amazon. If you’re into horror, ghost stories and gore, then this book is perfect for you. Especially if you’re just looking for a quick read, and it’s only 99p!

Dead Letter cover.jpg

I’m currently writing the story of Janet Burrows. The homicide detective that’s been assigned to this case. I’ve been writing a little more each day, even when I don’t feel like it or it’s been a hard shift at the night-job, or I’ve been dealing with drama in the Creative Writers group (it’s inevitable with a Facebook Group this big)!

I want to get Janet’s story up quickly. It’s a full story, not just a letter. It will show you, the reader, what Mark Anderson can do now that he’s dead! Originally I was going to try to write the story in journal entries and case notes written by Detective Burrows, but that’s not the way it’s coming out.

Book 2 is written in the third person perspective, which allows the reader to be able to see the big picture and see what the characters don’t. First person might have made it feel more personal and immediate, but based on the way the story is taking shape, I think people are going to still be reading the book while under a blanket, clutching a pillow and yelling, “No! Don’t do that!” at the book!

I’m not sure what to call book 2 yet. I may just call it ‘The Haunted Story’ and leave subtitles for the supplements (like Dead Letter). However, I’m also planning to write a sequel following a journalist/ blogger that’s determined to get the details of the case for an article. Maybe I should name each book for its main character?

This would make the story I’m writing now ‘Detective Burrows’ or just ‘Burrows’. This sounds good, but that would also mean changing ‘Dead Letter’ to ‘Anderson’. This sounded ridiculous in my head, but now that I’ve written it, I think I like it.

I had intended to begin publishing Hermes925, but apparently, Janet really wanted to tell her story! I also found out that the ‘Diversions from Drudgery’ magazine project is still a go! I already agreed to publish the story through them, a few entries at a time. The revisions I was planning to make can wait. If I make any changes now, it will confuse readers that have already started reading the current version.

I’m also pleased to see that the ‘UbiquiCity’ project is making progress too. The  Sci-Fi RPG sourcebook, which includes a short story written by me, should soon be available on RPGnow.com. I’m sure I’ll end up writing an article about it, and another for the first issue of DfD, as soon as they both become available.

‘The War on Magic’ and ‘Timechain’ stories have both been put back on hold, for now, though I’m sure I’ll dip back into them if and when the mood strikes me. For now, ‘The Haunted Story: Burrows’ is my priority.

I have, however, also been trying to update my social media presence. Both LinkedIn and GoodReads have been recommended to me by fellow writers. LinkedIn to expand my professional connections including fellow writers, editors, games designers and movie-producers. GoodReads to find and interact with my audience, and also to cross-promote with other writers.

Updating my LinkedIn profile already allowed me to notice an opportunity I wouldn’t have been aware of otherwise. A writing job working for the company that designed my favourite game system. It’s been on my ‘dream jobs’ list for quite some time. I haven’t heard anything back yet, but it’s only been four days since the deadline. If I don’t get it, I’ll keep networking and writing, and try again the next time a similar opportunity arises.

I’m still playing with GoodReads. In fact, this blog post is motivated by the fact I just linked my WordPress blog feed with my GoodReads author page. If you’re a fellow GoodReads Author reading this, and you know how to update the cover image for my book (it’s already changed on Amazon, but hasn’t updated on GoodReads yet) please talk me through the process as I have yet to figure it out myself.

If anyone has any more tips on using GoodReads and LinkedIn, or recommended cross-promotion groups, I’d love to hear them. I am, of course, still on Facebook and Twitter.

Have a great day 🙂

 

Grinning Again :)

If any of my family and friends were worried about my last article, Grateful Gardening, fear not I’m feeling much better. This is in large part to being able to work in the garden with Grandad again yesterday evening. Mostly we were just re-gravelling the pathways and adding decorative stones, but it felt good. Not only to be useful but to be able to reconnect with my Grandad.

He didn’t realise how much I liked gardening. Grandad seemed just as excited as I was at my enthusiasm, and happily showed me his plans for the garden. He also showed me what he had grown in his hidden vegetable plot next to his decorative garden. He has lettuces that you can just pull leaves off and eat. He also has rhubarb, leeks, raspberries, mint, and gooseberries.

I’m not a huge fan of gooseberries, but I’m looking forward to eating fresh home grown salads and drinking mint and raspberry leaf tea. He has a couple of potato plant growing too. Having a garden had been a dream of mine since childhood. It was a big part of my ‘happily ever after’ dream of adulthood. It’s rained hard today, so no gardening for us tonight, but I’m looking forward to the next opportunity to get my hands dirty.

I’ve also gotten to talk to Grandma a little more than I had. Perhaps Grandad and the Doctors have finally got her meds balanced correctly, or perhaps I just didn’t see her enough while I was preoccupied to make an accurate assessment before. She’s a lot more with it than I thought she was. This makes me happy too. I’m glad I still have the opportunity to chat with her and get Grandma cuddles.

Even chatting with my ex at work today has been positive. Despite our separation, I still have the same reaction I’ve always had in her presence. I smiled. It looks like we might be able to pull off this ‘just friends’ thing after all. She even said she misses me, which boosted my ego somewhat. 🙂

I’m finding my urge to write again too. Not just talking about it in the Creative Writers group, but actually write too. This article is just the start. I’m also going to type up and proof-read the story I’m working on for Monolith, and then begin revising my narrative for Hermes925 to fix any inconsistencies and strengthen its connections to the UbiquiCity universe.

Once Hermes925 is finished, I’ll release it under the CWP brand, and add a page telling readers about other titles for Creative Writers’ Press, including Monolith, Mosaic, and anything else we have out or in the pipeline by then. I’ve had several members of the Creative Writers group ask me to help them publish their work. The stories will have to be awesome. I’m holding Hermes925 to the same standards. If the team doesn’t think it’s good enough for a CWP label, then we’re not printing it until it is.

I’m not going to announce it just yet. I want to get my new work-life balance figured out to be sure I’ll have the time, though I’m fairly certain I’ll make the time. I’m also considering taking more hours at work, to help save up more capital to invest in this venture. I also think I’m more likely to find interesting characters and possibly even people I can network with.

There may be a supervisor position available soon at Whitewater hotel. It would allow me to apply my group-tested leadership skills in a real-world environment, and it would be a much better rate of pay. I’ve already let the hotel manager know I’m interested and reminded him of my experience and credentials. We’ll see what happens. If it doesn’t happen, I have contingency plans.

This is a 360 flip of my previous goal which was to dump the day-job entirely in favour of becoming a full-time writer. However, the structure of a working day keeps me writing, and I gain the resources to produce, market and sell books faster than my current strategy is. I’m going to work my ass off!

😀

 

Missing the Organising Organ

Monday. I have had a great weekend and now I have work to do. Primarily, of course, I need to get writing, but now that I’m starting to get noticed, I feel like it’s even more important that my online presence is on point.

Facebook is my friend. I’ve found some great writer groups and had some excellent conversations. I still don’t know how to get the most out of Twitter, and I haven’t even looked at LinkedIn lately, but my nemesis is Google Plus. It doesn’t help that I have two active Gmail addresses.

It doesn’t help that I have two active Gmail addresses. One from when I was living in the US (copeland.tony@gmail.com) and my new UK-based email that I would prefer to receive all my writer correspondence through (antonym.copeland@gmail.com). Both accounts on Google Plus are in dire need of an update and some TLC.

I’d prefer to close my old account down completely to avoid confusion, but my WordPress account is registered to it. All my email notifications regarding this website, Games and Geekery, and any of the pages I follow still go to the old one. So I can’t get rid of it yet.

For some reason I don’t quite understand, despite the fact that the RPG sourcebook project has my new e-mail address, I received the Google Hangouts invitation for the last meeting via the old one. It’s particularly confusing because they also have me in their Google Plus Community under the new profile, as well as sending emails to the correct address.

In addition to that, I’m falling behind on Patreon.com, Wattpad.com, and Inkshares.com. Whenever I sit down to do it I become frustrated. I know it’ll take time and experience to get each of these up to date and professional looking, but I also know that it will all be pointless unless I also keep writing to provide content for each site.

I think, for now, I shall just have to leave it all a disorganized mess until I have the time and motivation to sort through it all and figure out what needs doing. In the meantime, I have a Science-Fantasy short story to write based on “The War On Magic” that I hope to submit to The Writers Of The Future when it’s done. I also have to draft 5,000 – 10,000 words for the RPG sourcebook project, and also continue writing Hermes925.

I have plenty to do without having to worry about my online image, and yet I still do. Maybe I need an intern or something to do all the social media and website curation for me? Someone who can understand html and enjoys playing around with it, who can handle all my marketing and media, so I can just write.

What are your thoughts on this?

And please remember, if you haven’t already, to support my writing (and potentially my intern) by becoming a paid subscriber. Options start at £1 per month, and all levels of patronage entitle you to extra content and special treatment. Just click the button that fits your budget below. Thank you, and have a great day 🙂

primary-sml_btn  preferred-sml_btn  premium-sml_btn posh-sml_btn preposterous-sml_btn

Making Friends

I’ve been rediscovering the practical networking applications of Twitter. For a long time, I’ve been avoiding it because I get sucked in. I’ll browse through the newest tweets, scrolling through the nonsense to try and find something worth reading, knowing that there might be gold if I just keep looking. The entire time I can see the new Tweets counters going up. Brand new tweets vying for my attention.

I keep scrolling until the temptation of the new overcomes my need to thoroughly check the old ones, then start back at the top. I hate myself a little for giving up my search but begin scrolling through the new tweets hoping that it was worth it. Sometimes I find something worth sharing or writing an article about, but most of the time I’m just scrolling, searching, until the new tweets call me once more.

I know I need to clean up my feed a bit and unfollow the accounts that I skip over, but while I’m doing that I might miss something that would make the hunt worth it. When I originally opened the account I was trying to jump on the ‘social media marketing guru’ bandwagon. It seemed like my employer at the time, as well as most other businesses, were under-utilising and misusing social media. I thought I could make an impression at the company by devising an effective strategy.

Not only did my suggestions fall on deaf ears, but my attempts to use my own ‘expertise’ to market my home business (a now defunct tarot-reading service) fell flat. It didn’t help that the more I networked within the company, the less I liked the people I was working with. I read countless books on networking, negotiating, social media, self-motivation, leadership and entrepreneurship to try and make it happen, but the entire process made me feel dishonest.

I kept it up as long as I could stomach it though because I wanted to make more money, repair the roof on my house, and perhaps prove to my (now ex-)wife that I wasn’t actually worthless. I also really liked the idea or writing my own book on the subject. It occurred to me even then that I didn’t actually need to be successful in order to write a convincing book. In fact writing a book on the subject may have made my advice seem more legitimate.

I had to give up trying because she didn’t like being away from home so much, and then the marriage broke down anyway. Which was very frustrating. However, it got me writing. Not about ways to manipulate people into buying stuff they didn’t want, but about magical worlds generated by a powerful network of computers to keep the human population blinkered and pacified.

This time as I dive back into Twitter I’m doing so to share my true passion, and learn from others that have walked the same path before me. Some of these new friends I’m making are fellow authors, but I’m also making some great connections with musicians and gamers. I wanted to share some of these connections with you.

In addition to the tweets and video posted above, I also wanted to introduce you Duality. I actually met Michelle via Facebook, but it still counts because I say so! That and it’s still a connection I’ve made as part of my efforts to network and build contacts in the writing community. Give Duality a read. You won’t regret it.

Follow Kevin, Angela, Darren and myself, and dramatically improve your Twitter feed. If you’re reading this via email or WordPress reader and don’t see the video and links, go to the actual webpage (https://antonymcopeland.me/2017/01/24/making-friends) and while you’re at it, browse around and read some Hermes925!

Hermes925 isn’t finished yet, but you can read the story so far. If you want to help me get it finished, revised and published please choose one of the paid subscription offers below. You’ll be guaranteeing yourself a free copy of the finished book, as well as some additional perks, if you do.

primary-sml_btn  preferred-sml_btn  premium-sml_btn posh-sml_btn preposterous-sml_btn

 

 

Have a great day 🙂